hoof supplement recommendations
The weather and temperatures haven't been doing hoof health any favors this year, and JT has some chipping around the nails for his shoes. The farrier recommended yesterday that I might want to consider putting him on a hoof supplement. I mentioned that the ration balancer he eats has biotin in it, but that I'm not sure he gets fed a full 1lb. per day in the summertime. The farrier is supposed to be getting back to me with some recommendations, but hasn't had a chance to do so yet.
Oh joy, another dizzying array of products to sort through and try.... :roll:
What hoof supplements do you guys use?
My farrier and I swear by Farrier's Formula by Life Data, Inc. Great supplement fot the hooves.
Like so many things horse, a hoof supplement that works wonderful for one horse might not seem to help at all for another horse.
I had really good luck with Right Balance. Farrier's Formula did not seem to help my horse at all.
The catch with hoof supplements is it takes almost a year to grow out a full hoof so you will not know right away if what you are adding is helping.
Another thing to look at is the horse's entire diet. A balanced diet can go a long way to helping healthy hoof growth.
I discovered the truth about your first comment when I was looking at joint supplements. I started out with Majesty's Flex Wafers and they did nothing for my horse but other horse folks swear by them. *shrug* Thankfully I found a product that seems to work for my boy.
I guess I was just trying to get recommendations in the hope that I could narrow the field of possibilities. (It worked when I was looking at joint supplements!) SmartPak alone has 45 different hoof products, and I've also looked at Schneider's and Dover and... It's mind boggling.
I think my horse gets a pretty balanced diet. His main staple is either grass or good-quality hay. In addition to that he gets a ration balancer made by Buckeye called Gro 'N Win, a joint supplement called Acti-flex Senior, and an extra scoop of MSM for good measure. Oh and there's a salt/mineral block in the pasture next to the big water bucket.
We've used Platform Hoof on our two (an OTTB and a draft) barefoot horses for over a year.
They both have exemplary hooves (even the OTTB), and their coats are so shiny everyone thinks we use coat sprays or conditioners, which we dont.
We don't plan on switching or stopping the Platform Hoof anytime soon since both horses have phenominal hooves and amazing coat growth and shine.:D
How long has he been on Gro N Win? Like someone said, it'll take a year before you can see a difference.
Also, hoof BALANCE has a lot to do with it too, as proper weight bearing will affect quality of hoof/horn through the way the blood flows.
If all else should be balance, I like HOOF made by Advanced Biological Concepts. I've had horses with really crummy feet that I've run a bucket or two through, and then just maintained on good feed...and guess what? No more crappy feet :)
Horseshoers Secret 22 Lb
My horse threw 3 shoes in the span of one month last spring. Granted it was a very wet spring, but his feet were just in crappy shape. I added Horseshoer's Secret to his diet, and applied Keratix Hoof Gel to the outsides. Six months later, his feet look fantastic. My farrier says it's night and day in terms on improvement.
As for balance, I know that's not the issue because my farrier takes the time to make sure that he is trimmed in a balanced and even way.
At the end of the summer he was having some chipping on the sides of his front hooves at the site of the old nail holes that had grown out. He's had shoes for a little over a year now, and before that my farrier always used to say he had such good feet that he could be a hoof model. I think the dry weather combined with a natural weak point to cause the chipping, so we decided to try a hoof supplement because it can't hurt and might help.
I think you want more Biotin in your Horses diet. A lot of these products have very little Biotin in them and are mostly Alfalfa. I spent some time reading labels at the feed store one day and was astounded. We have tried Farriers Formula without noticeable results as well. Agree with the statement that results will vary with the individual Horse. Just didn't work for us.
For the last two years I have been on "Vital Hoof" which contains 100mg of biotin per serving. It is the most potent we have found and results have been nice strong hooves with thicker walls. Whatever you choose, I recommend reading the label. A lot of these products are hype.
And as pointed out, it can take as long as a year for the hoof to grow out. So beware of people who see a difference in 6 weeks.
Sweetwater Nutrition VitalHoof
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